Victor Cruz has already battled his way up as an undrafted free agent who played at a non-football power (UMass) to a 1,000-yard, Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl champion reliever. But in 2017, he’ll have another climb to make with the Chicago Bears.
Cruz, who turns 31 in November, is out to re-invent himself after leg injuries sapped his production in recent years. He signed a one-year deal with the Bears this offseason to prove he can still be a playmaker in the NFL. If he’s going to do so, he’ll have to battle for targets with Wright, Markus Wheaton, former teammate Rueben Randle, and others in a cluttered and crowded receivers room. Still, it sounds like Cruz is ready to make his mark.
“I feel very good where I’m at right now. Some of the speed and quickness feels like it’s back. It’s there. It’s working,” Cruz told the assembled press at Thursday’s training camp press conference. “Those moves I once did a few years ago are working, and I just want to build on that. I want to continue to build and continue to show the coaching staff and everyone that I can continue play at this level.”
You can watch Cruz’s press conference here. And in case you forgot what Cruz looked like in his prime, take a look at this highlight package:
I’m not sure if that Victor Cruz will show up at Soldier Field on Sunday, but to have a receiver with big play potential who is a precise route-runner with steady hands would be a significant improvement over what the Bears were putting on the field late last season.